Effects of ambient temperature, feather cover, and housing system on energy partitioning and performance in laying hens

M.M. van Krimpen, G.P. Binnendijk, I. van den Anker, M.J.W. Heetkamp, R.P. Kwakkel, H. van den Brand

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental factors, such as ambient temperature (T), feather cover (FC), and housing system (HS), probably affect energy requirements of laying hens. Using a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, interaction effects of T (11, 16, and 21°C), FC (100 and 50%), and HS (cage and floor housing) on energy partitioning and performance of laying hens were investigated. Six batches of 70 H&N Brown Nick laying hens, divided over 2 respiration chambers, were exposed to the T levels in three 2-wk periods. Heat production (HP) was determined by indirect calorimetry. The ME intake was calculated by subtracting energy in manure/litter from that in feed and wood shavings. The NE was calculated by subtracting HP from ME. The ME intake increased by 1% for each degree reduction in T. In hens with intact plumage, HP was not affected by T, whereas at decreasing T, HP increased in hens with 50% FC (P <0.01). At 21°C, HP was not affected by HS, whereas in the floor system, HP at 16 and 11°C was 5.8 and 3.0% higher, respectively, than in cages (P <0.05). The NE for production was 25.7% higher in cages compared to the floor system (P <0.05). In cages, 24.7% of NE for production was spent on body fat deposition, whereas in the floor system, 9.0% of NE for production was released from body fat reserves. The ME intake was predicted by the equation (R2 = 0.74) ME intake (kJ/d) = 612 BW0.75 – (8.54 × T) + (28.36 × ADG) + (10.43 × egg mass) – (0.972 × FC). Hen performances were not affected by treatments, indicating the adaptive capacity of young laying hens to a broad range of environmental conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5019-5031
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume92
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • residual feed consumption
  • physical-activity
  • genetic-variation
  • egg-production
  • fowl
  • poultry
  • requirements
  • selection
  • patterns

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